Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has hinted that he will make changes to his side for the trip to Lyon as pressure builds to find a spot in the side for Nathan Patterson.
Young Scotland international talent Nathan Patterson has an almighty challenge to dislodge Ibrox skipper James Tavernier with Gers fans, pundits and even Steve Clarke nudging towards more involvement.
So far we’ve seen the 20-year-old right-back employed further forward under GVB, the Dutchman opting to use the youngster off the bench and Patterson generally used to shore up that side of the pitch.
With the clash with Lyon set to effectively be a dead rubber – barring the potential for prize money – this is an opportunity to perhaps use the youngster in a more orthodox role.
James Tavernier remains the undisputed first-choice at right-back and is far-and-away the most effective wing-back in the country.
But Nathan Patterson is in a crucial period of his development and Rangers perhaps have a responsibility to the youngster to take full advantage of moments such as this.
Lyon match perfect opportunity for Rangers Nathan Patterson run out
The hard work was done against Sparta Prague as Rangers defeated the Czech side 2-0 in Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s first game in charge, setting off a run of four straight wins.
With one eye on a tough trip to Tynecastle this weekend, the match with Lyon both represents a solid opportunity to rest James Tavernier whilst giving Nathan Patterson more Europa League experience.
Rangers are also boosted by the fact that this free hit will allow the youngster to play with freedom and fans are excited at the prospect of a changed side in France.
Largely, van Bronckhorst has stuck with the same 12 or 13 players in his starting line up and this represents a big chance to experiment.
It’s an opportunity which any players coming into the squad – Nathan Patterson or otherwise – must relish ahead of a challenging run of Rangers fixtures in the weeks ahead.
Rangers have also been boosted by the news that Lyon have been handed a double blow heading into the match.